Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Paper Snowflakes with Hidden Names

I love to make snowflakes with my kids during December and keep them up through January.  One really fun way is to cut your names out!

It leaves a really unique design.  My oldest son is named William . . . can you see his name?

Here's how you do it. First, fold your paper like you would for any snowflake.  (Here's a refresher).

Next, you trace out your letters with the bottom of your letters along the folded side of your snowflake.

Cut your letters out making sure to leave space between each letter.

If you want, you can add some embellishments around the outside of the snowflake.

Unfold your snowflake and viola!  You have a fun snowflake to hang in your house with your hidden names!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Magnetic Bookmark Gift Set (Gifts Kids Can Make)

This magnetic bookmark gift set makes the sweetest little gift for anyone. It's perfect for parents, grandparents, siblings, and teachers. They're extremely budget friendly and easy to put together.

This year I helped my four year old make some of these bookmarks to give to her older sister and brothers for Christmas. I've probably said it 100 times, but I'll say it again. When children have opportunities to give they learn to love giving. Christmastime is the perfect time to give kids this opportunity. I especially love the value creating a homemade give adds to the experience. I've seen how the time, thought, and effort my children put into their gifts makes them especially excited about giving them. They become so focused on the gifts they're creating that they don't have much time to think about all the things they want. Be sure to check out more ideas on gifts that kids can make and give HERE.

Didn't these turn out so cute?

This is the perfect project to use up small scraps of scrapbook paper, or digital designs can easily be printed and used. I cut out strips of paper that were five inches long and 3/4 inch wide. The corners were then rounded, which was the perfect task for my four year old to help with.

We then folded the bookmarks in half and applied magnetic tape to the inside. I LOVE this ultra thin magnetic tape. I always have some on hand. It comes in handy for so many things and works perfectly for these bookmarks so they don't end up too bulky. You can see the bottom portion of the magnetic tape is slightly off center. This is so the magnets will line up evenly when closed. Experiment with the magnets you use so that they will be sure to close correctly.

To gift the bookmarks we packaged them together on a card with a quote at the bottom.

For my daughter we stuck with a Paris/music theme. For the boys we did Harry Potter and Star Wars.

I love the subtle Harry Potter hint these digital papers give. I probably could have easily come up with some wise words from Dumbledore or a found a great quote from JK Rowling to add to the bottom of the packaging but instead picked a quote that I thought my kids would love the most. Even though the quote doesn't really fit with the theme I knew my 10 year old would get a kick out of this one. Sticking with the Harry Potter theme though I used a free font called Harry P found on

This last one is for my Star Wars obsessed seven year old. Again, the quote isn't Star Wars related but he'll love it. I used the font called Star Jedi found on

My four year old especially loved clipping each bookmark onto the cards. She helped me wrap them up, complete with lots of pretty Christmas bows and put them under the tree. Her book obsessed siblings are going to love these bookmarks. I have a feeling they'll get a lot of use.

Find more gift ideas that kids can make HERE.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Our youngest sister lives up in Alaska with her little family.  Their winters are long and cold so for Christmas I sent them a "Baby, It's Cold Outside!" package to help them survive the winter.  

I included things like a movie (so they could cuddle up together at home) and some hot chocolate (to warm them up).  My favorite addition to the package was a snowman kit!

I scoured our local thrift shop and found this fun, colorful crocheted scarf.  Another option would be to make a simple scarf out of fleece.  I found a carrot nose at Hobby Lobby in the floral section.  The hat was constructed of stiff felt, a ribbon, and hot glue.

For my snowman's buttons I found some brightly colored ones (to go along with the scarf) and glued golf tees to the back.  This allows them to be pushed in to the snow and (hopefully) stay put!

I did the same thing to some small stones (for his smile) and larger stones (for his eyes).  You could also attach a tee to the bottom of your top hat so that it will stay put!

I had a great time putting together this little snowman kit--and hopefully they've had just as much fun building snowmen with it!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Briefcase Doll House

We just celebrated my daughter's 4th birthday.  It's crazy to think that my first post on this blog occurred when my oldest was only 4!  

Months ago I found the cutest idea floating around Facebook for a dollhouse that you could carry around.  I just knew that my daughter would love something like that and planned on having it ready by the time of her birthday.

I started off by heading to the local thrift store to find a very small briefcase that I could use for the dollhouse.  Just when I was about to give up this little thing appeared before me.

It was the perfect size!  And once I opened it up I realized that it was an old cassette tape holder... that's not something you see anymore.

After using this free pattern to make some adorable felt paper dolls (and clothes!) I realized that this little home was big enough for 2 dolls. 

 With the original post as inspiration I began to design my dollhouse.  It was fun to go through my stashes of felt and scrapbooking materials to see what I could create.

I decided to modge podge everything (except the felt blankets) because I know how little kids are and didn't want the papers to get dirty or torn.  I also opted not to have a hanger for a change of clothes.  There were two reasons for this--the first is that I made lots of little outfits (not just one) and the second was that the clothes would inevitably fall off once the dollhouse was closed.  Instead I painted a small box to hold all the doll clothes.

Since my briefcase had an extra little insert (originally for hold the cassettes) I decided it would be fun to add a kitchen!

The inside was so cute that I couldn't bear to have her carrying around a drab brown case.  I decided to paint it purple (her favorite color) and modge podge a little house to the outside.

My daughter was thrilled to open this on her birthday and she has already put in a few requests for additions.  We'll see what I can do for her.

This little portable dollhouse is sure to bring hours of fun for one sweet little girl.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pumpkin Banana Muffins (Egg free, Gluten free)

If you're looking for a clean eatin', gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegan muffin you've come to the right place. These muffins have conquered the impossible. They are so moist and flavorful despite being gluten and egg free.

This is pretty much the only muffin I make these days. This recipe is a great way to use up all my ripe bananas, they're a hit with all my kids, and they're very versatile. To keep things from getting too boring I rotate between adding chopped up apple, mini wild blueberries, and mini chocolate chips to the batter. Even though I use the same base recipe each time my kids feel like they're always getting something new. I do have to note that I am quite opposed to chocolate chips in muffins. The flavor is just wrong to me and I don't think chocolate chips belong in breakfast food. So why I add them to these muffins on occasion is beside me. I guess I love to see the joy on my kids faces when they see chocolate chips in their muffins. I don't know. My favorite way to eat them is without any mix-ins but with pecan pieces sprinkled on top. I'm smart enough to know to only make a few of those per batch though since they aren't very popular with anyone else.

This recipe is quite large, yielding two dozen muffins, so feel free to half it if a smaller batch works better for your family. I like doing a large batch so I can use a whole can of pumpkin without any leftover and I like having some muffins to freeze for a later day.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins


6 overripe bananas
15 ounce can pumpkin (I like this kind)
2/3 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
1 cup honey or pure maple syrup
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups oat flour (I like this kind)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice
Mix-ins of choice (optional): Pecans, peeled and diced apple, wild blueberries, mini chocolate chips

Get the rest of the recipe over at Nourishing Bites.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

3D Perler Bead Pikachu

My kids went back to school this week. I feel like we start so much later than most of the country since we don't go back until after Labor Day. We had such a great summer that it was hard to send them off. My goal is always to give my kids somewhat of a good ol' fashioned summer. I want summertime to be a chance to slow down and explore life. To keep their eyes away from screens and give them a chance to get plenty of fresh air, go on bike rides, catch fireflies, carve soap, chew gum and learn to blow bubbles, swim, play at the park, read lot of books, do arts and crafts, and hopefully have enough free time that they actually have a chance to be bored once or twice.

One thing my kids had fun with over the summer was creating things out of perler beads. My kids love these things! My nine year old got really creative and figured out how to make a 3D Pikachu. He then went on to make some other Pokemon characters and then my other kids started making them too and before you know it we had a house full of Pokemon!

My son thought other kids might like to learn how to make a 3D Pikachu too so he suggested we could put the instructions up on my blog. So here it is:

How to make a 3D Pikachu out of Perler Beads

Follow the pattern below to create the pieces to build your Pikachu. As you can see the feet on the green plate need to be on a plate that has pegs at an angle.

Here are all the pieces ironed and ready to start building. The key to making your Pikachu come together easily is to iron the pieces just enough to have them melt together. If you use too much heat and pressure so that the pieces get too flat it will be hard for the pieces to fit together easily.

Putting your Pikachu together is kind of like building a 3D puzzle. The pieces fit and lock together. Follow the visual instructions below to build your Pikachu.

All done! Isn't he cute?

Using the basic design of the Pikachu it's easy to create other Pokemon. Here are a few favorites: Wartortle, Charmander, Pikachu, Minccino, and Charizard.

Stay tuned. Coming up next we'll show you how to make a 3D Perler Bead Pokeball!

Now go create 'em all!